Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jamies Favorite Toys

Jamie will be four in a week! Can you believe it?! She has very distinct likes and dislikes and here is a list of some of her favorite toys.

New Fondness for Stuffed animals - Currently a green TY bunny, a Pink Princess Bear, a TY kittie she got off my desk on Black Friday and of course the loveys - Waddy, Car Waddie, School Waddy, Toddy, Yaddy, and Angel Waddy. (Yes she has Five Lovey back ups - all of them little bear heads on 10" square blankies; but Waddy is the preferred comfort object).

Necklace - I know this isn't really a toy but this girl just loves her necklaces, she has a silver heart with a pink 'jewel' and a 'J' necklace. She had a couple of rings but they were too big and slipped off to get lost.

Puzzles- She is good at these and about to move up to the 70 pieces from the 24 and 48 piece puzzles. (Oh lord more pieces to lose!)

Barbie Dolls- she got a Princess Barbie at Christmas, her first brand new one which joins about 8 she already had.

Vtech motion - this is new from Christmas. we got her 4 additional games. Some are a bit over her head yet, so hopefully this game will be good for a few years.

Coloring - she has coloring books and crayons, and colored pencils. She also has color magic, those pens that only work in the books (which can get expensive!); and a color Explosion which is a light board with pictures to trace with magic markers; and some white board coloring sheets with white board markers. (I think they stopped making these - you can use them over and over, so it's not good for company profits!) Also a white board Princess table she can draw on she got for Christmas. I am so glad my girl colors! I enjoy doing this with her.

Books - she truly likes her books...and she has plenty. we read together every day and she calls out for her favorites. We also always have at least a dozen from the library. Faves include Fancy Nancy, John Lithgow, Broommates (and others by this very talented author I can't recall the name of), and just recently Barbie books.

Clothes. I know this isn't toys but she favors skirts and boots right now. As well as Princess and Tinker bell embellishments on everything from Hoodies down to her panties.

DVD's Again, not toys, but important to her nevertheless. Current faves include: Barbie's Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Eloise - a little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel (thanks April!); oh and Calliou on On Demand.

Cutting - This is a new favorite passtime, Her teacher suggested she does this more often to hone her Fine Motor skills. So she now has access to a bag of catalogs/magazines and blunt nose scissors she can use to cut with. She did cut one thing she wasn't supposed to once, (One of the cards to the game Candyland) but seems to understand that she stays with the stuff in the bag.

Games- This is a new one. She started playing 'Hi Ho Cherry O' about 2 mos ago, and got Candyland and Chutes and Ladders for Christmas (thanks Cinda!). I hope to morph her to Eurostyle strategy games soon. (may have to buy Cataan for kids.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

7.5 hours into the journey

Ok we are so done with being in the car. I am tired of hearing “we wish you a Merry Christmas” and “I want to go to a restaurant!” The first from a Christmas DVD we are watching for the 3rd time; the former from my daughter who is miserable and wants out of the car. So do I.

This journey should be 9 hours but we will not be making that mark as we are in stop and go traffic on I95 southbound through South Carolina. Why in the world is I95 only 2 lanes in each direction!?%$U#_$()#

Anyway as I type this we are leaving South Carolina! Maybe Georgia has an extra lane to help open up this jam. Why the heck is their a traffic jam on the Wednesday after Christmas anyway? I could see the Sunday after, but the Wednesday?

Or is everyone in the North making their way down to the warmer Florida climes? We left at 10:30 am and it was 33 degrees. It is now 6pm and its up to 58 Degrees…

Aahh the minitue of our travel details…

Back to “I want to go to a restaurant….I want Waddie…I can’t hear my movie…”

And we are back in the land of three lanes!! Traffic has opened up at last. Thank you Georgia! South Carolina get with the program!!

Things that bug me about my daughter:

She pulls her necklace up on top of her nose straining the chain. I have warned her enough, it is breaks she will have to pay the natural consequences as I will not be fixing or replacing it any time soon. (I started this list as she was doing this, and giving me a sidelong glance to see if I would try to stop her).

Her constant whining at times.

She is as messy as her father and I and reluctant to do the work to put things back in order.

An emergent wise guy ‘tude’. I hope it’s just a phase and we are able to nip it in the bud, but I fear she has a strong personality like her parents and I wince when I hear myself yelling at her. Durnit.

Things I love about my daughter:
Her delight in all things Christmas.
Her love of music and songs.
Her love of the written word.
Her sparkling eyes and happy nature. (most of the time!)
Her social nature – she has so many friends all ready and they are so important to her!
Her exhuberant greetings. (She runs to you and says “MOMMMMMYYYY!!!” at the top of her lungs…or “Grandma’ Or “Daddy”…you get the picture).

Well it’s now after 9pm and we are still on the road. Mike went ahead and took a 20 mile detour on a state highway that runs along this interstate and we were actually moving…when the highway crossed back over the Interstate we could see things were moving again so we reented I95 and are sailing along finally. This has been the longest journey btn N.Carolina and Florida I can ever remember. Hope we are home by ten. (crap that’s 11.5 hours!!) I’m telling you I don’t like to travel at all during the holidays!!

What is going on? Is everyone and their mother on the road this evening?!

North Carolina Post Christmas

Christmas was wonderful, we are just now leaving Mike's brother in laws house near Roxboro North Carolina. As I don't have Wifi in the car (yet) I am typing this up to post later. Jamie is entranced with a new Eloise video and the sun is shining though it is cold as ice here.

We had a very nice visit with Jamie's uncle and grandma and also saw Mikes' aunt and uncle. I still wish there was more of a connection to her other kin when we go to visit to North Carolina as this is Mikes' childhood home. All of his cousins and aunts and uncles live there still, but we rarely see them. I didn't push for a visit to his fathers side of the family this time. I wish Mike felt it was as important as I do...but I guess he doesn't. We spend the entire visit with his mom and brother and that's what is important to him. Jamie was showered with love and presents (one of them a near life sized bowling alley- oh my where in the world will we set that up!?) and Mike and his brother had a riot with the Wii. They especially liked the Madden Football and the Golf that came with the console. I am so glad Mike likes the Madden as it was $50 just for that game alone!

All of the games I bought at the company auction were a bust, except for Excite Bots racing game. One of the games didn't even work - the Word Mah Jong that I thought would be fun to play with my mom and girlfriends; so that was disapointing. The other games - 6 Flags, some sort of zoo game, Cheerleading, and another I can't remember got the worst reviews online; but Jamie may enjoy...We will see. At least that auction was for a good cause, United Way. Companies send games, movies and books to be reviewed by the newspaper I work at, and every year we have an auction to sell them and the proceeds go to charity. I paid about $60 for 6 Wii games and thought I had a great deal, but turns out, not so much.

Meanwhile I would like to get the Wii Fit, one of the Mario brothers games, Zelda and maybe this game that is only on the Wii channel called Blob. (that got some fabulous reviews online). Did you know the Wii comes with internet access; a nifty photo viewing channel and a channel with downloadable Nintendo games?

So the Wii ends up being a Money pit as we already bought the extra controllers and numchuk and two wheels...We are into it for well over $300 already and have at least $200 earmarked to buy more for.

But it's a blast so it's worth it.

We will be home in time to get things in order around the house and get ready for going back to work on Monday. I guess I am ready. I feel much more relaxed despite my back up person Facebooking me with questions/problems with my accounts on Monday and Tuesday. I am sure it was my fault he didn't have all the answers, but that is the way it territory is complicated and alot needs to be done every week. I just had to prepare as best as possible and let go and go...I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about work so let me change the subject now!

As I was saying we had a nice restful visit. My mother-in-law had prepared a HUGE dinner for Christmas (which we weren't there for) but we got to eat the left overs the next 3 days. I overpacked, I brought the stuff to make soup or chili with, leftover Veggie Beef soup from Christmas and 5 Bean salad, so our cooler is almost as paced as it was when we arrived. So although I did alot of dishes while we were there, I didn't have to prepare any food and basically relaxed on Facebook. :-)

Looking forward to getting home, unpacked and seeing my kitties. Will probably do the same thing we always do on New Years Eve - stay home. We are such homebodies!

What are you doing for New Years Eve?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Great untraditional Christmas

We are hanging out playing the Wii while Jamie is napping. Last night was just a casual meal of soup and salads with good friends and my mom. We went to church and sang great Christmas carols while Jamie and Emmie alternatly spazzed out. (I got a great video of them tussling with each other during the 'Children Come up Time' at the beginning of the service...

Afterwards we came back to our neighborhood and joined a 'Haywagon' ride. This new neighbor who completely outdoes us all with his great light displays for both Christmas and Halloween; (and inspired alot of us to put up lights this year) had a rigged 'haywagon'. It was a four wheeler with a trailer with a Small lit Christmas tree and lights on it filled with haybales. He took us all out on a trip around the neighborhood on it to see the lights, then we went to the big display several miles away where over 100 homes had lights strung up in 75 foot trees...It was so crowded with cars snaking through there, it was like being on a slow moving train.

Then back home to sleep and get up and open presents...for almost 2 hours! Jamie was so much fun this year. At first she wanted to linger over each and every gift...then she was rushing from one to the next.

Good times.

Then just now during naptime (Love this kind of where to go nothing to do, no food to make (lots left from last night!) just rest, relax and laugh with my family. I am so lucky - anyway I was reading (catching up) on my favorite blogs. Yondalla over at Thoughts from a Foster Family recommended this very untraditional Christmas song. It is performed by Tim Minchin an Austrailian Songwriter/Pianist/Comedian who is a bit of an agnostic.

Go take a listen. - it just may move you as it moved us..let me know what you think.

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday too.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gift Cards? Guess I am a Grinch!

Ok I was on one of my favorite blogs just now and she mentioned that you are 'supposed' to get gift cards for each of your child's teachers/helpers. I never heard that before. Like I just commented on Lauri's blog
Leap of faith, I just never knew about this 'rule' before! Mike is a high school teacher, I didn't see any gift cards coming from his 100 plus kids! A couple of Christmas cards is what he got.

I got my child's teacher and teacher aid each a box of Chocolate Mint covered Cookie Bites in a tin. I feel that was sufficient, but maybe I am wrong.

As far as I am concerned really, Christmas is for kids, not adults. I just don't see the point of trading gift cards back and forth...or bath salts or knick knacks.

I give my mom and mother-in-law generous checks, because they are both on fixed incomes, and we did for a friend or two that is really strapped. Other than that we buy for Jamie and some of her little friends. And a bit for each other. This year we got 'the Wii Bundle' and some Wii games I got at a company Auction for about $5 each. Mike is getting me a charm (I think) of a little girl, and I may get him the Madden game for the Wii.

That's it. That means I don't run from store to store wondering what to get everyone, freaking out and shopping late at night in exhaustion. I really hate the malls and not too many folks would appreciate my thrift store finds. And yes, all of my friends know...let's just not buy for each other emkay?

My Christmas is much less stressful this way, and it's best for everyone for Mom not to get too stressed.

So am I a big Grinch? Doncha wish you could do it (not do it) too!?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Up all night

We went out to dinner this evening and when we got back we put Jamie down to sleep and I followed immediately after! In bed lights out and asleep at nine pm! So now I am wide awake at four am, and have been since two am.

I will pay the price tomorrow at work. Only this week and next and then I have the holidays to myself and my family. Funny thing is the holiday events we have planned around her school and dance classes all occur this week and next. Good thing I have a job where I can slip away now and then...Too bad I lost our smaller instant camera, it had a video function and I would really like to tape Jamies' performances in her two dance 'recitals' this week.

ONe is a true performance, the Saturday class she takes is doing a real routine, so cute. The littles (only 3 of them, all 3 yrs old) dancing to 'Rockin around the Christmas Tree' It needs work but it shoudl be cute. The other class that she does at school (which is more of a ballet focused class) is just inviting us parents in to see the progress the girls have made.

Am I crazy? I looked into a third class, this one offers a ballet/tap combo. I just really think Jamie would love tap. I think tap looks like a blast, wish I could join her!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Facebook ate my Post!

Ok I have to admit, since getting embroiled in Facebook and all of my new farms, cafe, fish tanks and wars I am running daily I just don't get to my blog as much anymore.

I am a huge gamer and have a bit of an addictive personality. Combine that with Facebook - not only a social networking site, but land of the games and it doesnt leave much time at night for other activities. It's also cutting into my all time favorite online game - a version of Settlers of Catan.

So I just need to go to FBanonymous or something...

On a more positive note, despite feeling a bit blue lately I feel a bit better this week for some reason. Maybe it's knowing I have TWO WHOLE Weeks off work!? or knowing that this Christmas is going to be amazing with Jamie...

Work seems to have maybe eased up a bit stress wise, this is always a slow time and I think my new boss is maybe getting more relaxed.

And I am at 10 lbs lost since September. It feels so good but I do need to keep on. I don't want to be this big anymore, I want to have the energy to go and do with my girl.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The ABC's of Me!

I love a good meme once in a while...please post yours as well or link to yours in the comments.

A – ADVOCATE FOR: Health care for all Americans. It's just the right thing to do.
B – BEST FEATURE: My mind...although sometimes I feel like I'm wasting it on Farmville!
C – COULD DO WITHOUT: My thick waist (or lack of a waistline) stress, so much debt
D – DREAMS & DESIRES: Getting out of debt. Having the money to fix up our house or move back to the beach or both.
E – ESSENTIAL ITEMS: My family, laptop, internet.
F – FAVORITE PAST TIME: The internet, blogging, and facebook and games. I also love TV. Infact I like all three at the same time...every damn night!
G – GOOD AT: I’m a good cook, and a heck of an eater too...guess they go hand in hand, I also am a fast reader, pretty good swimmer,
H – HAVE NEVER TRIED: To jump from an airplane or hangglide
I – IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS: Pay off debt, buy a house, buy my mom a house, go on a nice vacation - every couple months

J – JUNKIE FOR: DQ Blizzards
K – KINDRED SPIRIT: My husband


M – MEMORABLE MOMENT: Getting Married; getting Jamie
N – NEVER AGAIN WILL I: Try to ski

O – OCCASIONAL INDULGENCE: LOVE LOVE splurging on a great restaurant.
P – PROFESSION: Mom, wife, sales rep
Q – QUOTE: "Life is good”

S – SORRY ABOUT: getting fat
T -THINGS THAT ARE WORRYING YOU RIGHT NOW: My job - its so stressful I’m also worried about money and debt, but that isn’t exactly new.
V – VERY SCARED OF: Getting in too deep debt/losing house job etc...

W – WORST HABITS: Being a crappy housekeeper
Y – YUMMIEST DESSERT: Pecan Cluster Blizzard wtih no CaRAMEL
Z – ZODIAC SIGN: Libra, supposed to be evenly balanced. Not so sure about that sometimes...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Church Pals

Jamie and Emmie at a ball game
Megan, Jamie and Macayla

Jamie and part of her 'posse' at the back of the church before the words to the kids. Olivia, Megan, Jamie, Macayla, (their dad Dave in back) and Melony
Luis and his family at the church beach expedition

We started going to church again this past June as per Jamie's repeated requests. Now we are really enjoying getting to know a church family. Jamie has a 'posse' 6 -10 kids between 3-5 that rip and roar up and around the grounds during the coffee fellowship after the service.

We have gotten to know Emmie and her mom as we do alot of play dates away from the church, but have also joined church folks on a trip to the beach.
This is one of the things I think we add fond memories and a sense of connection to my girls childhood.
As we have only my mom here in the area in the way of relatives we really need to build this sort of network up. We arent great at it. Mike and I have found ourselves to have become huge homebodies, which surprises us as we were both big nightowls and party animals in our younger years.
Life is good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Feel like traveling again (or do I just need a break?)

Tonight we looked through our new issue of Disney's Family Fun magazine and there was 6 page brochure inserted into the middle of the magazine about Disney Cruise Lines. They have a Huge water slide that goes up 4 levels and you go down a see through tube that twists and turns you right off the side of the ship!

This sounded so impossible I had to go get this photo to show you! Anyway...from looking at that magazine as a family to opening my email a half hour later to find Disney offers and an offer from our favorite $80/night Orlando 2 br condo got me thinking...Wouldn't it be fun to spend Christmas at Disney?
Mentioning it to Mike he was all for it, then he said..."we really need to get to N Carolina so Jamie can see her grandma."

I'm ashamed to say I said "Ok you are right, forget about the fun, let's go there"
I yelled at my boss today too.
Hasn't been my best day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun with balls, dinosaurs and corn

I know I need to download photos and learn the new program I just installed on one of the laptops Pazilla? or something like that.
In the meantime here are some fun photos: Jamie at the Dinosaur exhibit recently at our local Childrens Science Museum. Did you know there is a National coalition of Science Museums? If you buy the annual membership it entitles you to get in free at most of the others and at a reduced rate for the special events.

We ended up buying ours while on Vacation in Michigan, so we paid $80 to get our family into the one in Ann Arbor, then got in free in Detroit, and Durham NC as well. Then we returned home and we get in free here until next June. Pretty good deal, the only thing I would change is to buy the annual pass in my home town next time to support the local guys.
Other photos above include Jamie at ball play at her 'dance' class (really called Rythmic Movement) and Jamie's BFF Emmie at Amaizing Acres with us. It was right after we took the family shots and we didn't want her feeling left out. She is such a cutie!

Monday, November 2, 2009

End of summer photos

So since I can't post the recent photos I thought I would go through and find some that were cute and somewhat recent. My mom's birthday was recent and Jamie 'helped' me to make the cake, and got to lick beaters for the first time. As you can see she is a natural.
I did my mom's birthday up this year, invited her friend (and kept it a surprise) and made steak, Crab legs and Chocolate cake for dessert. Jamie picked out a balloon for her (and for herself) and Mom was really pleased and touched.
My birthday was just a couple of weeks ago. I told Mike, lets not celebrate on the actual day, (which was a Thursday) let's instead do it up on Saturday - as we had plans to go to Amaizing acres...Anyway, my mom did make a cake and called Mike up to bring her over on my actual next year I will have to clue her in.

I am just not in the birthday mood on a workday for some reason.
Work is really stressful. I am always afraid to say more than that. I have heard horror stories of folks getting in trouble with what they say on their blogs about their jobs.

And the first photo is one of Jamie and her new BFF Emmie. These two are so happy with each other! We are so blessed to have found Emmie and her mom Steph. We had originally met them at our local library where we have been going with Jamie since she was a baby. The girls clicked so well, I gave Emmie's mom Stephanie my blog info and we talked about maybe getting together. A week later she was at our church!! We had just started back and they were newcomers. A happy cooincidence - both Stefanie and Emmie are alot of fun to be around and we get together a couple times per week.

I have to keep my spirited girl full of fun activities to keep her on the right track. It helps so much.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween is a month long now!

Is it just because I am a mommy of a little kid now or did Halloween suddenly morph into a 'season' instead of a day? We have been all Halloween all the time around here lately. Today was the culminating event of course. It was so hot here today we opted for 2 grocery store trick or treat before heading out to the streets.

A good time was had by all, now I am sure Jamie will want to wear a costume tomorrow as well, when we go to church. Sorry no photos yet, I am photo download challenged lately as the softwear isnt working anymore. Might be time to invest in some that would allow me to actually view the photos easily before trying to blog with them.

Oh and I am getting where I detest football. (Am I the only one?)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall fun

This was at the not so Amaizing Acres last weekend. The corn was hip high and thus the maze was really not all that amaizing! All of us adults that went came from Northern parts where the corn gets as high as an elephants high...but this corn was about puppy dog eye high. At over $35 for four to enter (We brought Jamie's friend Emmie from Church), we thought it was a bit pricy. It was a huge ex-chicken farm, the folks that owned it had to change gears when Tyson pulled out of town. So they built a corn maze and charge admission to ex-northerners who are homesick for a traditional autumn setting. It was way out in the boonies, they had a corn pool, hay bales to climb on, and a playground as well as the corn maze.
We were very blessed with the cool fall weather, only a high of 65 or so and sunny. Jamie, Ander and Emmy really like it though, I guess that is what counts.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jamie's school Photos at 3 3/4 yrs old

Ok so last year this place did the photos at her school and they warn you that they will be full body poses, that shoes will show. And I just didn't like the photos that much. Her head was so small you could barely see her beautiful face. So this year in 'Special Instructions' I put 'Make her head be the central focus, I don't care so much for a full body pose.

What do you think? I think they took offense at my suggestion..this third shot is riduculous- I didn't mean for her head had to be the only thing in the photo!!!

Also they had a warning on the photos saying there was some kind of chemical in the photos that would 'explode' or 'may harm your photos' if you scan or copy them.

Is this some kind of BS or what? Last year, when I saw this warning, I asked for them to send me a digital copy so I could blog with the photo and they never did despite me calling them again.

I'm a bit put out with this company...but the photos are nice doncha think?

So we took a chance and scanned them anyway, guess we picked the ones that didn't have the special chemical in it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jamie's New Teacher

Her new teacher is a dream come true! She is a middle aged woman, but she is so confident and laid back! And warm! She greets my little girl with enthusiasm, you know like she is really glad to see her. Such a relief.

Other news, Jamie started her real Ballet Class Thursday and she loves it! Her other class is actual called Rythmic Movement, and in that class she learned how to skip on Saturday. Yes Skipping is a big thing at this age...A milestone they tell me. She looked so cute.

Jamie's posse was missing at church today, she wasn't so thrilled about being there.

Mike is still working crazily every day and night. There was a great letter to the Editor about how the teachers are so busy jumping through hoops for the state and district they can barely teach...Here is the link if you would care to see what he is up against.

Between football and his workload I am feeling a bit like a weekend widow. I need to get out more....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Reading any John Lithgow?

Do you know of John Lithgow? You know the funny guy who played an alien dad in that quirky show 3rd Rock from the Sun? We just love the John Lithgow childrens books. ' I got 2 Dogs' which is a true story of him and his 2 dogs Penny and Blue and is basically a very catchy song and comes with a cd; 'Carnivale of Animals' which is based on a Ballet piece and has a cd to go with it and has opened up my girls eyes to classical music...she likes the 'picolope' (Piccolo);and 'Micawber' - the story of a squirrel in NY city who goes to the Museum of art every day and looks through the glass ceiling at the paintings within.

Most of them come with CD's but the latest Lithgow book we got is about a boy who plays many different musical instruments - The Remarkable Farkle McBride -and is the only one so far that doesn't come with a cd, music or otherwise. I just went to Wikipedia and learned this:

In June 2002 Lithgow released his second children's album Farkle and Friends. It was the musical companion to his book The Remarkable Farkle McBride, which tells the story of a young musical genius. Farkle and Friends features the vocal talents of Lithgow and Bebe Neuwirth backed by the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra.

So I guess I will look for that CD maybe the next time we are at the library.

These books offer all of us some pleasure. And I have found that no matter how wound up Jamie gets; reading books while laying down in our bed right before we put her to bed is a ritual that is never skipped. Even if she isnt' being a well behaved little girl. It's our entire family's time to wind down, cozy up and read or listen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Computer Problems

Sorry I haven't been blogging, I have burned through 2 of the four laptops we have in the last couple of weeks. And my baby Toshiba (original laptop with a 13" screen) has started acting up too.

We are waiting for a replacement for the new cheap one we bought and the other one to come back from repair from the Geek Squad...

Chik Fil A tonight with friends and at trip at long last to the scary monster store for Jamie to see her hearts desire...that girl just loves Halloween! There wasnt too much crying or screaming for what she wanted...which was a Princess Candy Bucket, A Batty Fairy Princess costume and of all things a little Geisha girl costume.

Can you believe all the Halloween stores this year? They are springing up like Fireworks stores in the summertime....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mish Mash

  • Jamie's new teacher seems better, Jamie napped today, the first nap at school in weeks!
  • My new boss started yesterday, she seems nice
  • Mike is still exhausted and stretched thin
  • Swimming weather will be coming to an end here soon, down into the low 60s tonite, maybe even 50's!
  • Dog Day at the Arbortorium is Saturday, I think we are going (Gator Bye week)
  • Gator bye week means I have my husband all weekend!
  • I have lost 8 lbs since the beginning of August
  • We have lost 2 of our four laptops in the last 2 weeks =the new one got sent back for a replacement and the older Toshiba needs a new motherboard (thank god for warranties)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jamie's New Teacher

When Jamie's school moved into the new building about 3 weeks ago she got a new teacher who was hired to take on the almost fours and newly fours. This women couldn't get my child to nap. And when I spoke to her about it she would get all agitated. I mean I could tell that my child agitated her.

Every morning I would try to speak to her...she was always sweeping! no warm greeting for my girl who would always run to her...And she was so frustrated, not just with Jamie but with most of her kids in that class who wouldnt nap.

I made several suggestions...why not nap them a little later - she would try to put them down at noon and there aint no way my child ever sleeps that early...Finally after about 2 wks of no napping for my girl I said something to the director - that I felt the new teacher didn't have the right personna to handle my child. THat I think Jamie is feeding off the agitation...

Friday was the new teachers last day...I hope I didn't get her fired, but am also hopeful for a better teacher for my Jamie.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Getting ready for consignment sale! & The Gator's Debacle

I woke up at 6am straight up thinking omigosh I am not ready for the consignment sale next weekend! Rather than taking and posting new photos of this years preparationk, here is a link to the post with photos I took last September. My living room is basically in the same state, but with size 24 mos instead of 18 mos.

Since I have a scheduled Tuesday drop off I really only have today and tomorrow night to finish the preparations- I know I am such a procrastinator!

Since this is a biannual event in our household, Mike knows the drill - in lieu of actually helping me with the sorting, hanging, tagging, ironing etc, he gets full time care of Jamie including meals and dressing.

After yesterday's Gator game debacle it's good for Mike to be with Jamie hands-on today. Debacle? You may say "how could it be a debacle, didn't they win the game against Tennessee?"

Well yes, although they won, they apparently didn't win by enough for my hard to please Gator. He expected much more from Teebow and crew and was in a major snit for the rest of the the point he barely spoke to me or Jamie.

Arrghh, how much longer is Football Season?!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I am going to lose this weight!~

There I said it. Now I have to follow through. I am doing something I cant really remember ever doing. Counting calories. I know I know, it sounds like drudgery, but there is a really cool website called and it has this Daily Plate feature. It allows you to plug in your food and keep track of your calories. Once you plug it in once it's there on your sidebar so it's easy to just click on your regular foods.

I lost over 25 lbs back in 2005 before we get Jamie so I know I can do this. Back then I didn't even count calories I just exercised...alot. (And stayed off Ice Cream) This time I am doing the opposite - except for the Ice Cream which I am still staying off.
Maybe I can reach the nirvana state of weight loss and do both someday - look how fast the weight peeled off me when I was rowing on the rowing machine 3 or more times per week!
I just don't seem to have the energy, time or motivation for working out yet, so for now I am just counting.
I have lost 3 lbs in 2 weeks. 34 lbs to go to my ideal weight.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Life sure is busy right now!

I can't believe I haven't posted for almost 2 weeks! Life just keeps getting more and more complicated.

I went from having a 'house husband' over the summer to feeling like a 'teacher widow'. Mike's school recieved an 'F' rating based on the state test scores, so now there is hell to pay. And he is paying it, or should I say our family is paying.

He had to jump through alot of elaborate hoops in setting up his room and his lesson plans. Both District and the state has been at his school this week and while randomly choosing classrooms, both picked his to observe and intricately check everything in his room (while class is going on) for compliance.

He is up most nights until after 1am working on his stuff, and then off to school at 5:45 or so; and then not home til 5:45 pm. at this rate of work he is probably making about $5-6 dollars per hour.

I worry about his health = his stamina seems to be failing.

So I guess saying that I shouldnt whine that I am doing most of the childcare, shopping, cleaning, dishes laundry etc...Not that I am keeping track or anything!

I can't wait for Christmas Vacation! Mike will be off, not me, but I will get my house husband back!

Monday, September 7, 2009

She appears to be a natural!

Her first dance class was Saturday morning, just a very small class with onlyl two other little girls, both 3 years old as well. She did so well! She was so focused and listened and pretty much did what was asked. She is already asking to go to dance class again.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

She wants to dance

"Mommy look at my practice!" says my Jamie as she twirls to the Kate n Ashley ballerina video.

She just loves ballet type dance so we are going to enroll her I think. One of the local outfits had "Rythmic movement" whch is 45 minutes on Saturday mornings. She has to wear footless tights and a tunic, no shoes. They do a bit of musical movement and acro or tumbling. Its a couple of miles away, and the facility doesnt' have a/c. (wonder if it has heat?) It is $45/MO plus a registration fee and she will eventually need a Black leotard (i have 3 pink ones!) and pink footless tights which are about $15 each. They will waive the registration if I buy an item from a local dance shop...

Then there is another class I just found out about, its at her school on Tuesday ams so I wouldnt have to transport her or get to see her in motion. It is the same rate but no waiving of the registration fee. Also no dress code, so a bit of a wash in that regard. But this class focuses on Dance. We would also have to buy ballet shoes...

I am thinking of doing both the first month and seeing which one she likes best or which one works out the best for two very busy and exhausted parents.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This child wants more

Jamie has this need to be with her peers and others. Not just us. We pass our church every day on the way to school and work and she asks if she can go to church. Today, or now. I remark that we just go on Sundays but she wants more. I have to tell her, "but honey nobody is there today, just on Sundays".

We started going to church during our infertility journey when I was feeling particularly dismal. It's a great church (Unitarian Universalist)with an open theology that recognizes the inherent worth of every person. We practice tolerance and freedom of letting others worship and believe as they so choose. (Which is one of the founding premises of this country btw).

We had stopped going to church when we got Jamie, her nap time was 11am which coincided with the time of service, so we just fell out of the habit of going. We knew we wanted to go back some day and when Jamie started asking to go to church a couple months ago, we got back into the Sunday habit.

So maybe it's time for me to get involved with our church community and get her involved with her church community. She is crying out for it. Yes it's hard to do more, but in reading about Spirited children, they need more. More to engage them, more people to be with, more friends to have a friendship with on a regular basis.

I started thinking it would be nice to take her another day, not just on Sundays, and thought maybe Wednesday would be an option. They used to have either a small service or adult RE classes on Wednesday nights, but no nursery or RE for the kids. I was thinking I would be willing to be the babysitter/teacher for an hour or so to get it started. But to make sure I wasn't the only one coming I decided to check with some of the other families who have kids Jamie loves being with. So I asked around today, and yes the mother of the 3 yr old girl Jamie loves (who we met at the Library a couple of weeks ago and just so happens goes to our church) thought it was a great idea, and so did the gentlemen with the other 3 yr old girl Jamie loves.

It just happens that our church is in flux. Our long time minister just left for retirement so we have an internment minister for one year while we engage in the search for the next minister. So we had a meeting this morning about what we were looking for in a new minister and how we would like our church. During the meeting the cry went out to deepen our congregations relationship with one another. I talked to the RE Director after the service and she loved the idea! In fact she had a better one, one in which families worship and have dinner together. She sent me home with a book about it.

Maybe it's time...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Are you Raising a Spirited Child?

The book I read by Popkin was excellent (Taming your Spirited Child - see previous post) and I think it could work. If your child is Spirited chances are the child possesses there characteristics:
C urious
A dventerous
P owerful
P ersistant
S ensitivity

I was hoping Mike would read the book too, but no dice. As a high school teacher just getting back into a new year, he doesn't have time. I thought maybe I could reach out to other moms/parents both online and irl to set up some sort of group to get together and talk about the concepts and what works or doesn't work. You know like a support group but also a class.

I thought if I could find others who have spirited kids we could band together...The book suggests forming a group and even has an online resourse you can purchase...Here is a article in pdf from the site that describes the concepts of spiritual children

Interesting Nugget I read from the book this morning:

You need to help you child find their passion. Adults who have a passion tend to read, and want to learn whether by formal education or by reading books, newspapers and online. If the child finds their passion you can help nuture it. Example: If you take a child to a Butterfy garden and they are enhanted, get books on butterflys, have her help you plant lantana or other butterfly loving plants and get butterfly decorations for her room etc.

I think this could help me to develop a good relationship with Jamie, will help to make sure that she is a pleasure to be around and also that she becomes a happy fulfilled member of society. And isn't that what parenting is about?

What do you think? Any interest out there? I am going to post on some online message boards, and maybe do an ad on Craigs list and the newspaper. Maybe I will set up a separate blog...any suggestions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hershey Park

I finally downloaded the point and shoot from the last couple of months and got to see all the shots from our expedition to Hershey Park. The little girl in the photo with Jamie was her best friend - at least for the morning. We rode a couple of the same rides at the same time as this family which allowed the girls to ride together.

Upon seeing the photos tonight Jamie exclaimed "there is my best friend!" I said, really do you remember her name? and yes she did, her name was Ariel. That kid has the greatest name recognition, she just may be a politician.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A long night/day

Well I never made it back asleep...come to find out Jamie and Mike were awake in the other bedroom so we have all been up since 5am or so (me since 3am) Jamie and I got up from the bed about 6:30 and came out here on the porch. I love my porch- Its screened in and half of it has a screened top and a partially bricked partially dirt floor. So I have some large split leaf philodendrums growing and some palms are against the outside on one side, my pool on another, some privacy bushes on the 3rd side and the house on the fourth side.

Guess I could just post a photo eh? Here are some from earlier in the summer that show the view from the porch, but I don't seem to have any of the porch itself.
Anyway I am so enjoying being out here. Jamie and I did some cleaning and straightening (well mainly me, but she did help wipe down a couple chairs) and then we did sand play and I got online and emailed some friends to maybe come over.

Anyway nobody could make it over on such short notice so we just continued. Mike got up about 10, he has a bad cold, and got a bit disgruntled when he saw I was trying to start the New Lawnmower, so he mowed the back yard, hacking and coughing and complaining the whole time.

I told him I would do it but he persisted. While he mowed I vacuumed the pool and Jamie just enjoyed being in the pool.

They went to Firehouse to get some subs *YUM* Hook and Ladder anyone? and I am in heaven - blogging and playing my game - Settlers of Cataan online.

I love Saturdays.


Life is good.

I have been lamenting what coulda been shoulda been mighta been lately and need to stay in the present. Time to do an old fashioned gratitude list.

Here is just a short one - I am up at 4am as we all went to bed at 9am and I didn't sleep through!

Nice Home
Great husband
Wonderful Child
Nice vehicle
Good job
Good friends
Sweet kitties
Pool in the backyard
Extra money for wants not just needs at times

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to School/Work

Well my lazy days of summer have come to an end. Mike teaches high school and has been off this summer so I have relied on him to take Jamie to school and do stuff around the house. It's almost as if we are both off for the summer, though I am not sure he feels that way.His school got an "F" grade this past year and so he has to do some kind of remedial education Team building crap this week and next week some more of the same. Stuff that teachers that weren't in F schools dont have to do this crap.And why may you ask did his school recieve an "F" grade this year? Well two of the neighboring schools that are located in the inner City got 3 consecutive "F" grades in the recent past. Sooo...with the infinite wisdom of our state government those kids were given vouchers to get out of the schools....Like rats from a sinking ship. So now Mikes school is failing. What are they going to do when all of the schools are F? Going to shut down the public school system? What makes sense here? Don't get me started.Anyway back to me, Now I get to get Jamie ready again each morning, and resume with the dishes and more of the household chores Mike has been doing. And the errands, and the grocery shopping...ugh...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Do you spank?

Please let me know if you occasionally spank your child for bad behavior. This book and so much I read is strongly opposed. I know I don't have any fond memories of being spanked. My mom used a wide firemans belt with a brass buckle - 'The Belt'. I remember getting spanked pretty darned hard with that thing up through elementary school. I know that most of my generation was spanked, they even spanked in schools at that time.

Do you spank? if so why and when? how old are your kids/were they when you spanked them and do you think it harmed your relationship as their parent?

Mike is Home! or No Spanking Zone

This past week my husband has been downstate doing high intensive training for better skills as an AP World History teacher to high school students. My mom even came and stayed to help out most of the days he was gone but it was pretty difficult without him. My hat is off to you single mommies out there (and those of you that don't get regular help and respite from your husbands!!)

When Mike is here he does alot, especially in the summer when he isn't in the classroom. He feeds Jamie in the morning and gets her dressed; takes Jamie to school, and does some stuff around the house; and then picks her up after school, plans dinner and pretty much cooks it himself, and then often does the dishes. I know I know, it sounds like I have a wife doesn't it? I know I am lucky...when I read other blogs where husbands barely load the dishwasher much less anything else.

So I got a taste of what it's like to be single and got warmed up for when he will start teaching again in 3 weeks or so.

Jamie picked this week to really try my patience and last night she tried Mikes. He spanked her twice and I think he has only spanked her one time before this so it was stressful on all of us.

In reading this book on "Taming the Spirited Child" they strongly recommend not spanking. Instead you are to remain calm - which harkens back to one of my best slogans in life I have learned - He who angers me controls me. Anyway remain calm, talk about their Feelings, (It must make you mad that you can't have a cookie); then remark on Logic (but if we all ate cookies all the time we would blow up like balloons; Give an Alternative (How about a nice crunchy carrot); Then if that doesn't work use a Consequence; (If you don't stop crying about the cookie you will need to sit in the Time Out chair). FLAC is the acronym or as I like to call it dealing with Flac with Flac!

I have been trying...but I just get so aggravated and get angry with her...I guess she is controlling me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

OMIGOD Make her stop!

Ok when will this get better?! And wth are they talking about the terrible twos? The twos were downright delightful, I mean it. But these threes are challenging me to the utmost.

Heres what she did today:

Screamed and cried numerous times - first time at 7:55 while I was attempting to 'herd her' to the van. "I wanna eat my cereal here at MMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYY TABLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEE; WAHHHHH!!"

No sorry baby, Mommy has to go to work yadayadayada....

At school:
She got put in time out more than once for fighting with her friends, she wasn't listening to the teacher, (Again, yesterday she wasn't listening or coming back from the bathroom and was wandering towards the front door of the center...)

Then when I come home from school I find a ziplock bag of Lucky Charms in her bag. WHICH I DONT GIVE HER! Which means she is stealing from other kids! (Again!) I knw I am a mean mom, she has done this in the past with Juice Boxes and chips. Some moms give their kids this crap for breakfast and Jamie prefers it to low sugar cereal and fresh strawberrries, but thats another story...

Then at home, she ate her dinner ok...but during her bath, I left the room and told her NOT TO GET OUT OF THE TUB, which she did (Again, just like last night) and was sneaking over to the bath paint, (which I would probably have given her if she had just asked)

Why this makes me crazy is my daughter is a clutz and has slipped so many times in and getting out of that tub! Darn it she could really get hurt!

SO I took her out of the bathtub. BIGTIME TANTRUM! "I'm not done, I'm not done!"

Anyway after that tantrum I sat quietly in the dark with her and explained about taking other peoples things and how that wasn't nice and also how she needed to listen to her teachers and me and daddy...

I am sure her eyes were glazing over during my lecture ...

After I put her to bed lovingly, I stayed upstairs to vacuum our bedroom...and she snuck out of bed and got my make up purse into bed with her and smeared it all over herself and the bed. She looked like Adam Friggin ant.

And now I have effectively stripped her room of loveys and books and other stuff....she has gotten up at least 6 times....


Friday, July 24, 2009

Justin Roberts is in town tomorrow

Justin Roberts does 'Kid Rock' and he will be at our local Art market tomorrow! I am excited to take Jamie to her first kid concert. I just found out about him from our local childrens library art teacher, she sent an email, so we 'youtubed' him and played some of the videos for Jamie who seemed to like him.
She is such a person of the crowds, not unlike I when I was younger. So Iknow she will have a good time. And I just might buy myself some Kenyan coffee.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Art Market in Town

Last weekend between GeoCaching we also went to a new art market/fest that happens every Saturday under one of our many bridges in this town.

Whoever came up with this idea is a genius. Our climate is very hot and humid and often rainy in the summer time. So the put down pavers and built a sort of ampitheatre and voila! A shaded space near the river with a roof to keep dry.

We really enjoyed it but it could be dangerous. I found that Kenyan coffee- its $9/bag but so good! I would need 2 bags as I mix caff and decaff, so that's $18, they had Chicken Calypso with black beans and rice for $5; a very large slice of Pizza Palace Pizza for $3; a very cool bug eating plant for $20; Pineappples to support our local shelter for Battered women for $2 - what a deal! and for charity! Numerous handmade necklaces one I adored that was $160; Dark Chocolate Chip Bread and scones for $6.50 and $3.50 respectively.

So since we had a limited amount of cash we just bought 1 portion of Chicken Calypso, 1 piece of pizza and one pineapple. So we spent $10 instead of hundreds. Dangerous I'm telling you. But we will be going back. They had live music down by the river in the ampitheatre, and street performers throughout. I wished we had gotten a picture of the contortionist, but thats for another day.

Is Jamie getting huge or what - she still wants to ride in her stroller though. Oh and isn't that twirl cute that Jamie did when she heard we were going somewhere?!